Cold Storm Brewing For SoCal, Promising Widespread Rain, Snow And Wind

LOS ANGELES — A brief warming trend should keep things somewhat pleasant around SoCal through Tuesday afternoon, but the next run of wet weather is fast approaching. There are a couple of hitches in the short term, too.

Forecasters Sunday were monitoring a potential late-season frost overnight for portions of the northern coasts and valleys, where a frost advisory will remain in place through 9 a.m. Monday.

While highs should warm into the low-70s Monday around Los Angeles and San Diego, a stubborn breeze will remain.

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“An offshore flow pattern will develop and gust Santa Ana winds will develop across [a] portion of the Southland late tonight through early Monday morning,” NWS Los Angeles said Sunday. “Gusty north to northeast winds are possible across portions of southwest California through Monday.”

Apart from the breeze, SoCal can generally expect a short burst of warmth under mostly sunny skies until late Tuesday. That is when forecasters expect to see the first signs of a “vigorous storm system” that is heading south from the Gulf of Alaska and looks to keep things wet into Thursday.

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“Expect several hours of steady, mostly light rain,” the weather service warned. “Impacts focused on outdoor events and road delays.”

Temperatures will take another dive, tumbling more than 10 degrees by Wednesday in Los Angeles and running 15 to 20 degrees below average for inland areas.

Snow levels are expected to drop, affecting the Grapevine and bringing a dusting of snow to Big Bear.
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“We are looking at precipitation starting over north portions of the forecast area on Tuesday night, and then covering the entire area on Wednesday,” NWS San Diego forecasters wrote Sunday. “Given the slow movement of this system, Thursday will be a wet day as well. [Precipitable water] values do briefly reach near one inch during this event, so even though it will not be as wet as the previous storm, precipitation will be widespread and significant.”

Around Los Angeles, forecasters expect the highest rain totals north of Point Conception. Forecats range from a half-inch to an inch of rain across the coasts and valleys, with 1 to 2 inches possible across the foothills and northwestern San Luis Obispo County. The models have some uncertainty on the specifics but show agreement for widespread rain across the region. Forecasters said it is possible that flood watches will be needed as the system may be capable of producing heavy downpours.

The colder air mass will also support gustier winds developing, and more specifics on the timing and strength will be shared nearer to the event. Isolated thunderstorms and hail will also be possible around both metros.

Some showers will linger into Thursday before tapering off and setting up for a drier, but cool, weekend.

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